Scuttlebutt Today
  
  Archived Newsletters »
  Features »
  Photos »

SCUTTLEBUTT 1282 - March 10, 2003

Powered by SAIC (www.saic.com), an employee-owned company. Scuttlebutt is a
digest of major yacht racing news, commentary, opinions, features and dock
talk . . . with a North American emphasis. Corrections, contributions,
press releases, constructive criticism and contrasting viewpoints are
always welcome, but save your bashing and personal attacks for elsewhere.

AROUND ALONE
Canadian skipper Derek Hatfield reported in at 16:53GMT on 7th March to
Around Alone Race HQ that his Open 40 boat Spirit of Canada had just been
dismasted 30 miles to the ENE of Cape Horn. The Captain of the cruise
vessel on its way back from an Antarctic expedition was able to confirm to
the Race HQ that the winds were around 70 knots and the waves 40 foot high.

Hatfield's story is pretty amazing: It was sometime mid-afternoon when the
wave that had his name on it came up from behind. "I have lost the timeline
a bit," Derek said. "I was so exhausted that I could hardly think, but when
I heard the wave I knew that I was in trouble. I was not as big as some of
the others, but it was breaking and it made a huge roar as it approached
the boat. In seconds we were falling down the face of it until the bow dug
in and then we pitch-poled. The boat went straight up and then fell over
sideways. I was at the back of the boat and got flung forward, and the next
thing I knew I was in the water under the boat."

Spirit of Canada had just undergone the worst possible scenario; an
end-over-end capsize. The boat slammed down trapping the skipper underneath
it. Derek continued his story. "I heard the water gurgling and knew that I
was under the boat, then all of a sudden I heard explosions. Loud
explosions that reverberated through the water and I knew in that instant
that the mast was breaking. It was unreal. Gurgling water and huge bangs.
Suddenly without the mast the boat came back upright and I was dragged back
on deck."

Hatfield estimated that he was under the boat for about 15 seconds. Had the
mast not broken who knows if it would have ever come back up again and how
Derek would have got out from underneath the boat. It boggles the mind to
think about it. During the pitchpole the keel had come loose. It had
already been a problem, but now the whole thing was loose and banging around.

Hatfield is now safely in Ushuaia in southern Argentina. There was no mast,
no sails or rigging. The keel problem needed to be resolved. The
electronics were ruined. "I could not think how we could get back in the
race given where things stood," Derek said. "But then I opened my email and
started to talk to people and I am amazed and gratified by the outpouring
of support we have been getting. It's overwhelming. There is still a lot to
do, but I am starting to feel the littlest bit confident that we might just
be able to get back into the race. - Excerpts from a story by Brian
Hancock. Read the full story: www.aroundalone.com

STANDINGS: 2200 UTC March 3 CLASS 1: 1. Solidaires, Thierry Dubois, 167
miles from finish; 2. Bobst Group-Armor Lux, Bernard Stamm, 14 miles behind
leader; 3. Tiscali, Simone Bianchetti, 327 mbl; 4. Pindar, Emma Richards,
448 mbl 5. Ocean Planet, Bruce Schwab, 1554 mbl; Hexagon, Graham Dalton,
dismasted.

CLASS 2: 1. Tommy Hilfiger, Brad Van Liew, 843 miles from finish; 2.
Everest Horizontal, Tim Kent, 879 mbl; 3. Spirit of yukoh, Kojiro
Shiraishi, 943 mbl; 4. BTC Velocity, Alan Paris, 1679 mbl; Spirit of
Canada, Derek Hatfield, dismasted.

INTERNATIONAL CATAMARAN CHALLENGE TROPHY
The Australian Catamaran Challenge syndicate has issued a challenge for the
International Catamaran Challenge Trophy (also known as the Little
America's Cup) but this has been rejected by the trustees in favor of a
factory backed event.

"We were bitterly disappointed," says syndicate coordinator Ian Jenkins,
"The Little America's Cup was always about the building most efficient and
technologically advanced boats, to sail in one-design boats really misses
the point. The C Class Catamaran has represented the pinnacle of sailing
technology for the past 40 years featuring revolutionary wing sails." "Our
boat is nearing completion in Fremantle, Western Australia and we will be
ready to race next year," says Ian.

Steve Clark and the Cogito team, the previous winners of the Little
America's Cup, have recently met with Ian Jenkins and have accepted a
challenge from the Australian syndicate. It is anticipated that the new
event will be held in Rhode Island in September 2004. More details of the
new event will be released as soon as arrangements can be made. - Damien
Smith, pugwash@eisa.net.au

CURIOUS ABOUT MULTIHULLS?
The mega multihulls smashing records around the world are fast and
spectacular, but not very practical for most sailors. However, there are
modern multihulls that can provide multihull excitement in a more practical
and very safe format. Farrier multihull designs, from the classic
trailerable F-27 to the F-41 catamaran, are the most popular cruising
multihulls around with now over 2000 sailing. They can exceed 20 knots, and
the F-28 has even sailed around the world. Find out more, and check out the
exciting new F-33 sport cruiser at http://www.f-boat.com

HERO'S WELCOME - Julie Ash
Any ideas that the Swiss didn't really care about Alinghi winning the
America's Cup were quickly dismissed yesterday when syndicate head Ernesto
Bertarelli stepped off the plane with the Auld Mug in Geneva. Hundreds of
media and local dignitaries, not to mention the Swiss President Pascal
Couchepin, gathered at the airport to greet the team as they arrived on a
specially chartered plane. Bertarelli was first off with the cup, followed
closely by skipper Russell Coutts, who was carrying his young son Michael.

From the airport the team headed to a public celebration held on the edge
of Lake Geneva. A crowd of around 40,000 braved the icy cold temperatures
and gathered on the streets to catch a glimpse of the team and their
trophy. "One day I dreamed of landing here at Cointrin airport with the
America's Cup. I was really the only one to believe it," Bertarelli told
the crowd. - New Zealand Herald, full story,
http://www.nzherald.co.nz/americascup/

BACARDI CUP
Coral Reef YC - Peter Bromby and Martin Siese of Bermuda won their second
consecutive Bacardi Cup after a second place finish in the sixth daily race
of the Star Class regatta on Biscayne Bay. World Champions Ian Percy and
Steve Mitchell finished in 28th place and take second place overall.

Final Results (112 boats): 1. Peter Bromby / Martin Seise, BER, 24; 2. Ian
Percy / Steve Mitchell, UK, 32; 3. John Kostecki / Austin Sperry, USA, 43;
4. Andy Lovell / Eric Oetgen, USA, 43; 5. Augie Diaz / Mark Strube, USA,
46; 6. George Szabo / Chrisian Finnsgard, USA, 51; 7. Mark Reynolds /
Magnus Liljedahl, USA, 57; 8. Ian Walker / Nick Williams, AUS, 61. -
http://www.coralreefyachtclub.org/starclassevents.htm

ORACLE BMW RACING
Larry Ellison has stepped down as CEO of the Oracle BMW Racing Team and has
appointed Chris Dickson to assume that role. Dickson's first task is to
plan the strategy, budget, management structure and program for the next
challenge. Planning will be the main emphasis for the next six months, and
there are no plans yet for hiring, any major developments, or commitments.

Dickson will complete the debriefing and planning process before answering
questions about specific members of the team. The team's short term
priorities will be to race a yacht in San Francisco this summer, fulfill
the obligations as Challenger of Record, and to complete the wind up and
debrief analysis of the 2003 campaign. - www.oraclebmwracing.com/

JULES VERNE TROPHY - DAY 58
The Cap Gemini and Schneider Electric trimaran is still making good headway
north, despite having to contend with lazy trade winds blowing at around 12
knots. Making an average speed of over 15 knots, Geronimo passed 15 North
at the end of last night and should reach 20 North some time tonight. This
faster progress puts her back ahead of Orange, her rival of last year. But
the crew continues to take a realistic view, since Bruno Peyron and his
crew had excellent conditions on days 58, 59 and 60 (covering 411, 518 and
496 nautical miles respectively), which will not be the case this year on
this part of course.

Distance traveled in the last 24 hours: 358 nm - www.grandsrecords.com

TNZ
A decision on whether Team New Zealand will again challenge for the
America's Cup could be weeks rather than months away. Syndicate heads are
completing an internal review into what went wrong in their 0-5 rout by
Alinghi in the America's Cup. This will include a look at the management of
the syndicate and will not automatically guarantee the present jobs.

Skipper Dean Barker said when a boat had two crippling gear failures in
five races it was vital the leadership of the team was assessed. "We
obviously have to look at our management processes because management is
responsible for any failures. That's one of the big things that we have to
look at." It is not known whether an external review of the team will be
conducted, or who will assess the roles of Barker, Schnackenberg and key
executives. - Helen Tunnah, NZ Herald, full story:
http://www.nzherald.co.nz/americascup/

GOT STUFF?
Scuttlebutt has seen how Star and Etchells sailors benefit from their handy
trailer-mounted storage boxes. The convenience of the boat trailer or dry
storage yard box keeps your stuff where you need it - with your boat.
Sturdy fiberglass construction insures dry, secure storage for your sails
and hardware. Boxes are 13'4" in length. Mr. Wax has boxes in stock and
affordable to ship anywhere in America. Check them out at
http://www.mrwax.com/mainfram/Storagebox/storagebox.htm

KINGFISHER2
Thirteen days after Kingfisher2 was dismasted, the maxi-catamaran arrived
in Fremantle, Australia on March 8 under tow. Of the dozen attempts that
have been made on the Jules Verne record, eight have ended in failure, so
skipper Ellen MacArthur always knew the odds were against her. Team
Kingfisher and MacArthur have no immediate plans for another crewed attempt
to break the Jules Verne record. MacArthur will reveal her program for
2003-2004 by the end of March. As previously announced, in 2005 she plans
to enter the ORMA 60 trimaran racing circuit with the key objective of the
2006 Route du Rhum race. - www.teamkingfisher.com

CLIPPER 2002
Hong Kong Clipper crossed the line at 06:54 GMT Friday as the provisional
winner of Race 6 of the Clipper 2002 Round the World Yacht Race, from
Hawaii to Yokohama.

Race 6 Finishing Positions: 1 Hong Kong (06:54 GMT 07/03/03); 2. Bristol
(14:41 GMT 07/07/03); 3 Liverpool (17:16 GMT 07/07/03); 4. Jersey (17:37
GMT 07/07/03) 5. Glasgow (00:18 GMT 08/08/03) 6. London.

Overall Standings: 1. Jersey, 39; 2. Bristol, 34; 3. London, 31; 4.
Liverpool, 28.5; 5. Hong Kong, 28; 6. Glasgow, 23; 7. New York, 22; 8. Cape
Town, 9. - www.clipper-ventures.com


LETTERS TO THE CURMUDGEON (editor@sailingscuttlebutt.com)
(Letters selected for publication must include the writer's name and may be
edited for clarity or space - 250 words max. This is not a chat room or a
bulletin board - you only get one letter per subject, so give it your best
shot and don't whine if others disagree.)

* From T.J. Perrotti: I applaud Steve Clark and his Little America's Cup
"Cogito" team for the wonderfully innovative advancements and technology
that they have brought to C-class catamarans. All of this done with a
dedicated core research program and a surprisingly small budget. It's
exciting to hear that our sailing friends in Perth are game to give this
historic sailing competition their best shot. Sadly, if reports concerning
actions of the Sea Cliff Trustees are true, the challengers might never be
given their fair chance. I implore those in Sea Cliff to reconsider their
sense of direction.

* From Ron Deane: As Steve Clark has observed, the current proposal to
use production beach cats as the design for a round robin series for this
event is an incredible dumbing down and lowering of standards for what has
been the epitome of the fastest course racing sailboat championship in the
world!

These cats have been the most amazing developmental sailing craft
worldwide, and I for one cannot believe that the current holders of the cup
would suggest that the competition should be staged in production boats -
this is a development class - and up until it was won from Australia, the
progressive development for each challenge was nothing short of staggering!
To drop that level of development back to sailing a round robin in
production boats is nonsensical - the whole purpose of the Little America's
Cup has been defeated!

* From Nancylee Malm: Am I missing something? If Russell Coutts and his
team had not won the Americas Cup for New Zealand in the first place and
brought it back to his country, New Zealand would have missed these
wonderful years being involved in the Cup races. Sons are free to grow up
and do their own thing, be happy for the good years, and may they come again.

* From Michael Rosenauer: I must disagree with those who opine that a
conflict between the World Cup and the AC is illusory. I submit that this
perception is based upon the American view of Sport and is similar to our
view of skiing. In the US, the only people who are on the sidelines are ski
patrol, or course management. The finish is populated with only
competitor's families and coaches. Americans watch the Reader's Digest
version on TV. In Europe, the old ladies are trudging up the hill before
dawn. By race time, people are six and seven deep, each with a flag or a
cowbell. The finish is packed and large bleachers have been erected. You
can tell where the competitors are on the racecourse by the roar of the crowd.

I can further demonstrate the point by reminding the readership of the
arrival of the VO 60s in the European ports. They could hardly find the pin
end of the line but for the spectator fleet. The starts were equally crazy.

I am putting my money on Bertelli and his vision. I hate to wait so long,
but I think the public reception will be overwhelming. We here in the US
are simply underestimating the following that sailing has in Europe.

* From Rob Hahn: Freeing up the nationality restrictions in the AC is an
idea whose time has come. This is not the Olympics. Certainly there are
downsides to it (as in anything should you decide to look hard enough) but
I feel the benefits are there to be seen. Some have said that it will hurt
the ability to cheer for your country's entry, as the team members could be
from anywhere. I disagree. To buy this argument one must feel that the fans
of any sports team are limited to the city they came from, as if you
couldn't be a San Francisco 49er fan unless you were from that fair city.
Would it also mean that you wouldn't cheer for your hometown college teams
unless the entire student body grew up locally? As an American, I had no
national stake in this America's Cup, but I was still cheering for my
favorite; the team that always showed up ready to sail hard and carried
themselves with dignity and class.

* From Patrick Mouligne: I believe that, if there was no nationality
requirements in the Olympics or in World Cup soccer, there would be much
very little interest worldwide in watching either one. I feel the same way
about the next America Cup. This latest one was bad enough from that point
of view. Who was in it? Was it New Zealand and New Zealand or Switzerland
and New Zealand or even France and Switzerland? I am not sure but I do care.

I believe it is critical to the marketing success as well as to the
preservation of "the spirit" of the AC that nationality requirements be
strengthen not further diminished. It is simple to do: five years true
minimum residence in one country. Then, ounce you have raced for one
country, you cannot switch for 10 years...or something like that.

CURMUDGEON'S COMMENT: Although some people seem focused on 'locking the
barn after the horses are long gone,' the new AC Protocol is in place, and
nothing said here will change that. This thread is now officially dead.

* From Bob Osterholt: I'm sorry, but although being a strong KIWI
supporter, basically we got our butts kicked! Regardless of equipment
failures, their strategy, maneuvering skills, and decision making were
superior! Being close in "delta times" is finding gold in the dog@#%$ pile!
RNZL must do better all around to be a serious contender for the next AC. I
don't think the new protocol as proposed will be a great hindrance for
RNZL, it actually may be the best thing for the sport in the long run!

* From Theo Muller, Wellington, New Zealand: I simply can not agree with
Rich Roberts characterizations in Scuttlebutt 1281. The Russell Coutts
situation is now well past and Team New Zealand and most New Zealanders are
looking to the future. Team New Zealand was very gracious in defeat, but of
course very disappointed. That goes with the territory. The future for Team
New Zealand and New Zealand yachting looks very promising. We have the
talent, the knowledge, the experience and above all, the will to come back.
Let's not unnecessarily dwell on the past. Learn from mistakes and move on.

* From Andrei Glasberg (In support of Rich Roberts' commentary): Does
Commodore Bill Endean represent the RNZYS? Does he represent NZ? The Loyal
campaign was a disgrace to the country and its people. All of this is
narrow minded isolationism at its worst - in sporting competition no less.
If I were a NZ company with global markets (most are) I would attach
behavioural strings to any sponsorship considerations.

THE CURMUDGEON'S OBSERVATIONS
Nothing says poor craftsmanship like wrinkled duct tape.